Customer Satisfaction: Is it overrated?

Think about this: when was the last time you told someone about an experience that met your expectations. Perhaps it was an adequate dinner while on the road, or a satisfactory hotel stay. Now think about the last time your expectations either weren’t met at all, or were wildly exceeded. How many people did you tell then? One, ten, twenty?


Why is it then that organizations spend time, money and focus on something no one apparently cares about: Customer Satisfaction?


Consider this model:


Based on this model then, merely satisfying our customers buys us very little; perhaps we can keep them until another firm comes along to delight them. Then we’re left to wonder what happened -Weren’t our customers satisfied? Where’s the loyalty?


Naturally, this doesn’t always apply. If you’re fortunate enough to be a monopoly, or the government, mere appeasement of the customer may suffice. But for the rest of us, working in highly competitive industries, moving beyond satisfying customers may be what keeps the company in business.


Afew parting lessons from this concept:


– Customers are not monolithic – what delights one may not matter to another. Finding out is a difficult, but necessary effort. (Your customer often doesn’t even know what it would take to delight- a focus group probably didn’t come up with the iPod.)


Net Promoter Score is a useful measure, but only if the survey can shed light on why the customer would or would not recommend your firm


– Exceptional value can mitigate price sensitivity; failing to meet expectations leaves customers feeling cheated and much more price sensitive


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– If your firm can’t yet delight customers, start by not disappointing them


So let me ask you, dear readers, how do your firms address Customer Satisfaction especially for your transactional projects? Please post your experiences, suggestions and/or horror stories in the comments section.


Special thanks to Bill Bellows of UTC Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne for the above model.


Comments 2

  1. Adam Dorrell

    Nice graphic of customer satisfaction.

    What we have found is that even if a company consistently gives excellent customer experience, you still cannot expect ALL the customers to recommend.

    Similarly bad experiences do not all end up getting shared.

    You need to influence the RIGHT people. In his book "The Tipping Point" Malcolm Gladwell explains the types of people who will pass positive (or negative) comments on. He calls them "Mavens" or "Salespeople". They are the people you go to if you want to know which car, or TV to buy.

    Also I recommend "Creating Customer Evangelists" by Ben Mckinnon and Jackie Huba. They say give your key customers some tools to help spread the word.

    Hope that’s useful


  2. avayaglobalconnect

    The process that is used by organization to determine the satisfaction of customers. Also the process to get feedback on products/services from customers.

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